Ingrowing Toenails

What can I expect on the day of surgery?

  • The patient and surgeon (and possibly the parents depending on the patient) need to discuss whether surgery should be done under local anaesthetic or a general anaesthetic.

  • Generally children have a general anaesthetic and a special cream is placed on their hand to help make the cannula insertion more comfortable at the start of the general anaesthetic

  • Some patients feel that a general anaesthetic has the disadvantage of not being able to have a discussion with the surgeon about any findings during surgery.

  • Some patients feel that a local anaesthetic has the disadvantage of it being rather painful while the local is injected around the toe.

  • This is a day surgery case.

  • Even if a patient has a GA the surgeon will numb the toe with local anaesthetic so the patient will be comfortable when awake.

  • There will be a big bandage on your foot and ankle which you will keep dry and intact for 48 hours

  • You will be given crutches and a post op shoe

  • You will be told to take off the big bandage and to apply a small adhesive dressing after the first 48 hours

What are the risks and complications?

The vast majority of patients do extremely well. A small group of patients find that the wound takes a long time to heal or that the nail is infected for a while after surgery. Rare complications include recurrent growth of the edge of the nail necessitating repeat surgery on the nail fold, or disturbance to nail growth and loss of the nail.

When can I drive?

The best guide that you are safe to return to driving is that you are able to walk well without crutches and without the surgical shoe. The usual time scale also depends on whether you had surgery on your right or left foot and whether you drive a manual or an automatic.

  • Right side surgery and all car types: 1-2weeks

  • Left side surgery and manual car:     1-2 weeks

  • Left side surgery & automatic car:     48 hours

How long will I need to off work?

The time you require off from work depends on what type of job you do. Many people are able to work from home and so if you avoid commuting in the first one-two weeks, you will find that your foot does better. If you work on your feet all day, do a manual job, or are required to wear dress shoes you may need two weeks before you are back at work.

What instructions will I have for the first 2 weeks after surgery?

  • Elevate leg level to heart (above if swollen)

  • Keep toe dry and covered for 2 weeks

  • Remove bulky dressing and apply a small adhesive dressing after the first 48 hours

  • Move Toes and Ankle

  • Flatfoot Weightbear in post-op shoe

Clinic Appointment 6 weeks following surgery

  • I will check that the surgery is healing well

  • It can take many months before the nail grows normally again